Zimbabwe Republic Police

Zimbabwe Republic Police

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (or ZRP) is the national police force of Zimbabwe, known until July 1980 as the British South Africa Police.


The force consists of at least 21,800 officers and is headquartered in Harare ref|1. The force is organised by province, and comprises uniformed national police, the Criminal Investigation Department, and traffic police. It also includes specialist support units including the (paramilitary) Police Support Unit and riot police, a Police Internal Security and Intelligence unit (the equivalent of the Rhodesian Special Branch); and ceremonial and canine units. Overall command of the force is exercised by the commissioner Augustine Chihuri.

Formation and Africanisation

The predecessor of the Zimbabwe Republic Police was the British South Africa Police of Rhodesia and the interim state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.

Following the achievement of independence for Zimbabwe in 1980 the force had a strength of about 11,000 officers (of whom about 60% were white) and a further 35,000 police reservists (nearly all of whom white). After independence, the force followed an official policy of "Africanisation", in which senior white officers—predominantly former British residents of the colony of Rhodesia—were retired and their positions filled by Zimbabwean black officers. In 1982 Wiridzayi Nguruve, who had joined the force as a Constable in 1960, became the first black Commissioner of the force.


Since 2000, the ZRP has faced criticism from Zimbabwean and international NGOs such as Amnesty International for alleged political bias and what is claimed to be its part in what many describe as a systematic violation of rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly ref|2. The Commissioner of the ZRP, Augustine Chihuri, is open about his political loyalty to the ZANU-PF party (Zimbabwe's ruling party, led by President Robert Mugabe), saying in 2001 "Many people say I am Zanu PF. Today, I would like to make it public that I support Zanu PF because it is the ruling party. If any other party comes to power, I will resign and let those who support it take over" ref|3. The ZRP are alleged to take bribes routinelyFact|date=June 2008. According to Transparency International the police and justice system of Zimbabwe are extensively corruptedFact|date=June 2008.


1. "The Military Balance 2003/2004", International Institute for Strategic Studies
2. Amnesty International, AFR 46/003/2005
3. "Daily News", Harare, 2 June 2001


* [http://www.cvni.net/radio/nsnl/nsnl062/nsnl62zw.html Zimbabwe Intelligence Profile, 2003]
* [http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engafr460032005 AFR 46/003/2005 - Amnesty International 2005 report on Zimbabwe election intimidation]
* Kent Rasmussen, R., & Rubert, S. C., 1990. "Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe", Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., USA.

External links

* [http://www.moha.gov.zw/index.php?link=zrp_history About the Zimbabwe Republic Police and its History]

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